Big Time Small-Time Dicks Welcome to Big Time Small-Time Dicks, a regular column on The Slot that explores local politicians, small-town scandals, and everything else making life miserable on a local level.
This week, the all-male city council of Waskom, Texas, voted unanimously to outlaw abortion within city limits, exercising whatever power is apparently bestowed on a table of old white men when at least three of them are wearing checkered button-ups.
The vote will turn Waskom into what they are calling a “sanctuary city for the unborn,” a simply deranged series of words. Waskom is reportedly the first city in Texas to pass such an ordinance.
A local news report of the City Hall meeting shows the room erupting into applause after the vote was taken. “Most people in the room were there in favor of this ordinance,” one KTBS reporter said.
The ordinance’s purpose is more posturing and attempted intimidation tactic than anything else: Waskom currently has no abortion clinic to speak of. But should Louisiana’s restrictive six-week abortion ban go into effect, the five men hope that no one will come to Waskom, which is near the Louisiana border, to start a clinic that could serve as an alternative. One of the ordinance’s authors is a man who apparently feels comfortable wearing this hat in public:
“This is something that has teeth,” he told KTBS, “that will allow the city of Waskom protect themselves from having an abortion clinic here, whether that’s one that comes from the north, the east, wherever. Waskom will be protected.”
In fact, the opposite may be true-according to various news reports, both the mayor and the city attorney warned the city that banning abortion is unconstitutional and could result in legal action.